Outside of Virgil Abloh, the other splashy new appointment in Paris was clearly Kim Jones’ switch from Louis Vuitton to Dior Homme. With a
blockbuster finale last season, the question was clear: Could Jones translate his contemporary aesthetic (and success) over to a new house? The short answer: Dear God, yes.
It begins with the pre-show details. A stacked celebrity front row—starring everyone from Abloh and A$AP Rocky to personal friends Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (fitting, given Jones’ Vuitton finale)—cemented the show as high-profile Parisian gathering. Speaking of 'high-profiles,' one could hardly miss the massive, Dior-suited, Pink KAWS BFF (composed entirely of flowers) at the center of the circular runway. The pair will be
collaborating on a plush dropping—theoretically—in the near future.
There are two sides to this Dior menswear collection, with the references to Christian Dior both as a couturier and, simply put, as a man in his time. It could be seen in nods to the wallpaper of Mr. Dior’s first boutique—with intricate,
florals (Looks toile de Juey 19, 20, 21 and 22)—to the man’s love of roses (if the KAWS installation wasn’t enough of a hint, Looks 24, 27 and the deailing on 47 are subtle indications). The suiting with an off-center button closure (Looks 9, 11, 31, 32 and 48)—featuring the “Oblique” cut—is (as noted by ’s Sarah Mower) a reference to a Dior couture collection from 1955. Vogue
From the archival to the abstract; from big to small, Jones clearly studied Dior in 360 degrees to inform his debut. Speaking of the small details, Jones used these to pay homage to his friends in the present day. Yoon Ahn of Ambush (
Dior Homme’s official jewelry designer) made her own debut with “CD”-logo rings, chains and stud earrings. Matthew Williams of Alyx (making his own Paris debut the day after) reworked his insanely-popular Rollercoaster Belt and buckle (Looks 41, 43 and 45) to accessorize several ensembles in one way or another. With an A-list showing in both the front row and in the atelier, Jones’ debut for Dior is a reminder of a simple ‘Kim Jones fact’: The designer is one of the most-well-liked men in fashion.
It is known that Jones has a knack for riding the thoroughly modern line between ‘true luxury’ (shout out the couture-level attention-to-detail seen here) and the commercial (shout out that whole
Louis Vuitton x Supreme thing). Jones will be applying this blend of philosophies in collaborative denim pieces (Look 40), featuring KAWS renditions of the Dior bee dropping in December ahead of the collection. Another sign that Jones is putting his own mark on his new post? Once Dior Homme, Jones decided to swap the name to Dior Man. Given that Jones' Dior Homme predecessor, Hedi Slimane, has a penchant for changing names to suit his time at a house, this seems like fair game. Besides, given that Slimane defined a Dior Homme aesthetic that would carry on through the work of Kris Van Assche, with Jones' arrival, that aesthetic is finally bound for change; a new era is the best time for a new name.
A reminder of Jones’ abilities as both a “creative director”
and “fashion designer,” this runway show did exactly what a major maison debut should do: Create a concoction of celebrity, creativity and craftsmanship that can dazzle everyone from the fashion blogs to the LVMH boardroom. With Jones at Dior and personal friend ( obviously) Virgil Abloh holding down the fort at his former employer, it’s clear that LVMH has the heat to go toe-to-toe with the giants at Kering. Jones' fusion of street(wear)-smart tailoring has never felt fresher.